View Full Version : What Makes For A Hero

August 30th, 2012, 10:32 AM
Most people have an image of a hero. The most popular is that of the handsome knight riding up on his white horse to save the beautiful princess. My sonís heroes range from Matt Damonís Jason Bourne to any character Jason Statham portrays. To a young teen, I can understand why he idolizes these men. Damon and Stathamís characters are above proficiency in hand-to-hand combat and can drive a car or motorcycle, with accuracy, at a rate of speed to rival that of the space shuttle blasting off. From driving up and down cobblestone steps, to soaring off an on-ramp to land on top of a passing semi, there is enough action to keep my son glued to the screen for two hours. Thatís not to say on-screen characters donít have tenderness. They do. For Jason Bourne that tenderness was given to Marie. For Stathamís characters, he takes to heart any child, woman or man who is in genuine need of help. Or someone who has been the one constant in his life, the only person who cared about him when no one else did.

In real life, heroes are not live action figures. They donít drive fast cars or walk away from a grueling fight without scars or bruises of their own. They are individuals who put their lives on the line for something they believe inóour military troops are a good example of this. Men and women who are not afraid to face danger for something they believe in. Or to help family, friends, and even strangers. With the wildfire in Colorado Springs, another hero came to the forefront that fateful Saturday. Someone with the same characteristics as our troopsóthe fireman.

For two weeks, I sat glued to the news. I learned more about firefighting and fire terminology than I ever thought I would. ĎBoots on the groundí is one phrase that will always stick in my mind. And so will the dedication of these brave men and women. Retreat and surrender are not words in a firemanís vocabulary. They stare at the leaping flames with the mindset of ĎI will conquer you and winí. To someone like me, I think theyíre crazy. Flames all around and a fireball rushing at me as it rolls down the side of a mountain; I wouldíve run. They didnít. They moved to safety and then came back with a vengeance, some videotaping the fire to use later as training material. To say the least, I have a deep respect for them and their bravery. For the way they face danger. For how they take to heart and view as a personal loss the destruction of just one house. How they give their all and more and never ask for anything in return. And how underneath their strength and determination they are gentle men and women with big hearts. Browse my Facebook page and you will see two pictures of just how much these people care. One is of a fireman holding a baby deer in his arms. The fawnís feet are bandaged, cut from trying to escape the fire, and just like a child, this wild creature sought comfort from someone he deemed safe. The other picture is of a fireman hand-feeding a fox. Both tug at your heartstrings and make you believe in the goodness of man.

From Damon and Stathamís characters, to our military troops, to our firemen, there are common traits to be found in each of them, traits that should be implemented in the heroes in our books. Everyday, ordinary people who have the heart of a warrior to see justice prevail. To risk their own necks in the hopes of helping a stranger. To allow a moment of compassion to intrude so they never forget why they do what they do. To know when they seek out a bed each night that they have done all they possibly could to make someoneís world that much better. They are human, and thatís what makes them the best of heroes.